Vision Care for Homeless People is an organisation that I am very, very proud to be associated with. I am delighted that their work has been celebrated by this prestigious nomination. For many years now, VCHP has been quietly, constantly providing a life changing experience for countless people who would otherwise have no opportunity to improve their sight. Sight is arguably the most empowering of all the senses – particularly for those in perilous circumstances such as homelessness, danger and isolation. Seeing well gives us scope; it enables us to communicate with others; it can keep us safe from harm. Seeing is not only believing, as the saying goes, but surviving also.
One of the many impressive things I have noticed about VCHP is its dynamism and logistical excellence. Their ability to work together as a team and in tandem with volunteers and the many optical companies who donate so much is superb. This is particularly the case during the Christmas season. As part of their Crisis At Christmas service, VCHP have always been able to harness both goodwill and practical support from people in the most efficient manner. Over 12 years, VCHP have carried out more than 3,000 eye examinations, which has made a profound difference to the lives of so many. The spirit of Christmas – of reaching out to those we do not know with a helping hand and a charitable heart – is very much alive and at work with this remarkable organisation.